Job Searching

May 28, 2003

I have been focused on my job situation for the past few weeks. My current contract ends on June 30th and there is some question as to whether I'll get another contract here or not.

In the past when I've been faced with this kind of situation I've gone off my tracks a bit and reacted out of fear. This time I am doing a much better job of taking care of myself emotionally, and that is allowing me to be far more open to other possibilities.

I know that there is likely a traditional way to approach the end of a contract with no certainty of a new one, and no other job prospects in the immediate area. I don't care for tradition, however. I find that most traditions are fear-based and therefore are punishing to me rather than helpful. Instead of following my fears I've been listening to my heart and following it instead.

In some ways not getting a new contract here would be very freeing. Michele and I could sell our house, pay off all that we owe and move to the west coast again. I would be free from the anger and upset that seems to permeate this place.

I guess I've finally come to the realization that having a job isn't about the job any more. For me it's about whether my employment situation is meeting my needs. And what is the cost of having those needs met in this fashion. My current situation is not perfect by any measure. The community we live in has few attractions for us, and the job itself can be very trying. It is tolerable, and unless an offer comes along that is far better, I doubt we'll incur the cost of moving just to leave here.

For me the job is going to be the same anywhere. There will be politics, bureaucracy, in-fighting, crazy deadlines, stress, achievement, reward, and fun. And all communities are pretty much the same as well. Theaters, restaurants, lakes, traffic, expenses, stores, and people. What is different are intangibles. How does the place feel overall? Is it peaceful and calm or tense and angry? Is it liberal or conservative? Is there accepted diversity?

Instead of just moving again to stay employed, we want to explore some places that intrigue us, and move towards a place that we feel meets our intangible needs as much or more than our tangible ones.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.